Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Dan Beth Finkey


Each year, hundreds innocent children are abducted from their homes and taken to foreign countries - victims of international parental abduction. In 1980, the U.N. developed The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Childhood Abduction in order to protect children from wrongful international abduction, and to ensure that abducted children are safely returned to their homes. Although scholars laud the Convention as being generally effective, perverse results sometimes arise in the U.S., where courts are struggling to interpret the Convention's provisions so that they do not harm victims of domestic violence. This note suggests a novel way to improve the Convention: looking to the Violence Against Women Act for ways to improve the Convention. The Violence Against Women Act provides evidence of the extent of domestic violence on the national level, and such evidence may influence Congress, state legislatures, and U.S. courts to interpret the Convention's provisions in a way that aids victims of domestic violence. Moreover, VAWA's subsections provide valuable insight as to how and where Congress and state legislators can better protect women that fall victim to the Convention's provisions.